Don’t leave or be intimidated
No matter where we come from in Pennsylvania, from the Pocono Mountains to the Steel Valley, Lake Erie to the Delaware River, all of us can agree that the freedom to make our voices heard at the ballot box is important. Voting allows us to elect leaders that represent our communities, protect our rights, and deliver on the things that matter most: our families, our jobs, our schools, and our communities.
Voting has never been more convenient and secure in Pennsylvania. Despite all the noise, misinformation and disinformation, our freedom to vote is protected because many of our leaders believe in democracy and have expanded access to the ballot box. Any citizen in Pennsylvania has the freedom to choose whether to vote in person or by mail. And it’s never been easier to register or vote. We have provided some great resources below on knowing your rights at the polls and other important information so that you can be prepared to make your voices heard in 2022. Your vote is your voice: please use it.
Knowing your rights
- It is illegal for any state or local government to discriminate against anyone by denying them the right to vote based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, or membership in a language minority.
- Your right to vote can only be challenged if a poll worker, poll watcher, or another voter says you do not live in the precinct or says you are not who you say you are.
- It is illegal for any person or corporation to intimidate or coerce you to vote for or against a particular candidate or political issue.
- There are also laws that:
- protect people in language minority groups from discrimination
- ensure that people with a disability or the elderly can vote independently and privately, and
- establish rights for people who are incarcerated or who have been convicted of a crime.
Important things to remember
- If you have requested a mail-in ballot and you don’t receive your ballot in time to vote-by-mail, you can cast your ballot provisionally at your polling location.
- If you want to vote in person (but have already requested your ballot) you still can — but you’ll just have to bring your ballot and the outer declaration envelope into the voting center with you and sign a declaration surrendering your ballot.
- If you face any difficulties voting or just have a question about casting your ballot, call 866-OUR-VOTE, the nonpartisan voter election hotline.
- Spanish/English Hotline: 1-866-VE-Y-VOTA
- Asian Languages Hotline: 1-888-API-VOTE
- Arabic/English Hotline: 1-844-YALLA-US
- PA voting and election information: https://www.vote.pa.gov/
- Voter intimidation: https://www.vote.pa.gov/Your-Rights/Pages/Voter-Intimidation.aspxLanguage access and elections: https://www.vote.pa.gov/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Language-Support.aspx
- Voters with disabilities: https://www.vote.pa.gov/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Accessible-Voting.aspx
- Voting after being convicted of a felony: https://www.vote.pa.gov/Register-to-Vote/Pages/Convicted-Felon,-Misdemeanant-or-Pretrial-Detainee.aspx
- How to avoid making common vote-by-mail ballot mistakes: https://share.commoncause.org/2020/10/21/pennsylvaniavbm